The Biochemist Blog

Finding the founding fathers of molecular biology

By Lisa Strittmatter, University of Cambridge, UK

My motivation to do a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge was driven by its place at the forefront of science. During my time here, I have come to realise how little I know about the origins of molecular biology. In 1957, the MRC institute was named ‘unit for Molecular Biology’. I decided it was high time to find out more and who better to narrate its history than its contemporary witnesses?

What would a year without antibiotics look like?

By Brendan Gilmore, Queen’s University Belfast

Grim? Certainly. Apocalyptic? Probably not. Antibiotics have been one of the most transformational discoveries in mankind’s history. Few drugs can make the impressive claims that antibiotics, which we have taken for granted, can. Antibiotics have slashed infant mortality and contributed to prolonging life and increasing life expectancy. Today antibiotics underpin the cornerstones of modern clinical medicine. Antibiotics save lives.

Why can tendons tell time?

By Chloé Yeung, Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen, Denmark

At the start of October, the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. In recent years, the very same molecular mechanisms have been discovered in our peripheral tissues and we’re now beginning to understand why circadian rhythms are also needed in our musculoskeletal tissues.